This isn’t heat of the moment stuff.
It might be time for society to call BS on this lame “heat of the moment” excuse when people in the public eye do something perceived as dumb and/or inappropriate.
People in power, men who mistreat women, coaches, athletes, law enforcement officers, famous people, infamous people, people accused of crimes, politicians...apparently no one can control themselves when things get heated.
Politicians probably have the weakest argument here. How often are they legitimately caught up in the heat of the moment, when things are so crazy and frenzied that they lose control and act in ways they shouldn’t? You’re all dressed up and sitting in a large, staid chamber with beautiful woodwork, elected to make laws...how much real heat can that setting generate, to the point that you lose impulse control?
But, no matter, North Dakota Republican state legislator Roscoe Streyle is blaming the heat of the moment for calling a left-winger a “libtard” in a tweet on Twitter. Streyle has a history of being mean and petty on Twitter, but his most recent “libtard” tweet – media stories say he’s used “libtard” in tweets around 10 times since the fall – struck a particular nerve because many frown big time on any use of any word that relates in any way to calling someone a “retard.”
Streyle, in scramble mode this week, tried to convince his detractors that “tard” is an actual word that refers to a person who is “stupid” in an “annoying way” and not actually considered retarded. You won’t find “tard” in a traditional, bound dictionary, but if you search “tard” online it is possible to deduct that it’s sort of seen a real word, in “urban dictionaries” and the like. But the sort-of definition for that sort-of word most definitely has roots in the word “retard,” no matter how much Streyle would like to convince us otherwise.
Perhaps most troubling of all, when Streyle was called on the carpet for his poor choice of words and serial meanness on social media, he perhaps became the first politician on record in this country to openly state that he should be able to behave in such a manner and get away with it because the President of the United States behaves in such a manner and gets away with it. Streyle couldn’t even keep a straight face when citing Trump, laughing when talking to a reporter. To be fair, Streyle added that it’s, in fact, not appropriate for a politician to lob such insults via social media, but the implication in citing President Donald Trump speaks volumes.
This isn’t heat of the moment stuff. Politicians from both parties are guilty of all sorts of misdeeds, but seeing something on social media you don’t like, even if it makes your blood boil, does not meet the heat-of-the-moment threshold and give Streyle or any other politician a free pass to rip people with demeaning insults. In crafting a defense, Streyle says he’s a “human being” first and a legislator second. What kind of cop-out is that? Rep. Streyle, on behalf of the human race – or at least the libtards out there – get off our side.
This comes down to combining one dirty word in the minds of many Republicans, “liberal,” with “retard” and coming up with the ultra-derogatory label “libtard.” No backtracking or excuse-conjuring will alter that fact. Liberal Democrats can certainly fly off the handle with the best of them, but it’s not like you see them on social media telling right-wing conservatives who have somehow gotten under their skin to stop being “contards.”
Rep. Streyle, try raising the bar a bit instead of burying it in the ground.